Saturday, March 18, 2017

One of the Best Sermons!

This is without a doubt one of the best sermons I've heard. It offers practical help in an area in which we all need guidance. Charles Stanley offers such practical help in his sermons. He tells us not just WHAT to do, but offers practical instruction on HOW to do it.

These are the notes I took while watching this video. Perhaps they will be of some help.

There is awesome power in forgiveness. It is God's solution for bitterness, resentment, and hostility. You and I need the freedom found only through sincerely and completely forgiving others.

Forgiveness is giving up resentment against someone and our right to get even no matter what has been done to us. It is the surrendering of my right to hurt you back.

Freedom from the enslavement of anger and all the feelings that go with it: hostility, bitterness and resentment.

You can't just say you forgive, you have to experience it. If you try to justify someone's wrong to you, you are not forgiving them.

Matthew 6:12-15

Living in the willful sin is a condition in which God will not answer our prayer. If he did, he would be condoning sin. which is out of his character. Perhaps one reason people are not blessed is because of unforgiveness.

Unforgiveness is detrimental to our souls. It interferes with your fellowship with God. Not your relationship with him because once saved you are saved.

Matthew 18:21 Jesus instructs us to forgive 70 times 7. If you don't forgive others, the father won't forgive you.

There is no justifiable reason for not forgiving others.

Ephesians 4:30-32 1 John 1:9
Do not grieve the Holy Spirit. Be kind to one another, forgive.

Don't let anger become deep down hostility inside you. Forgiveness is the most unselfish act we can perform. God will enable us to forgive.

Unforgiveness is a chain around your heart.

To deal with anger:
  • acknowledge you have experienced God's forgiveness
  • confess your anger and hostility
  • lay down your anger and bitterness
  • ask God to forgive you

By an act of my will, I choose by the power of the Holy Spirit, to lay down this anger.

When you have held an attitude of resentment towards someone who hurt you, ask for their forgiveness by saying, "My attitude towards you has not been right."

If you have forgiven you will thank God for allowing this to happen Ask God to teach you about His grace. Remind yourself, God's grace has surrounded me all these years.

When you have forgiveness:
  1. you will not feel the same way the next time you see them
  2. your harsh feelings are replaced with compassion
  3. you can accept them the way they are
  4. you will consider why they did that

A Constant Attitude of Prayer

The following is an excerpt from Sue Edwards' book, Ephesians: Discovering Your Identity and Purpose in Christ. This attitude of including God in all aspects of our lives is what He wants. He wants to spend time with us and have us share our lives with him. He longs for this type of relationship with us, and when we do we experience profound Joy. When we develop this relationship with God, we learn to listen to him speaking to our hearts. The Holy Spirit gives us more guidance the more we include Him in our lives. We learn to listen to Him as we talk to Him about our daily activities and thoughts. In this intimate relationship we find a type of 'best friend' that goes far beyond our earthly best friends.

God asks us to live in a constant attitude of prayer. We include God in the inner conversations of our hearts and minds all day long. We include God as we carry out our daily routines, and we ring God into all our relationships.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Instructions for Living

These verses from 2 Thessalonians really stuck with me this past week. AS is often the case, once I read these instructions for living, they popped up again in my devotional and on Christian radio.
In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we command you, brothers and sisters, to keep away from very believer who is idle and disruptive and does not live according to the teaching you received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example. We were not idle when we were with you, or did we eat anyone’s food without paying for it. On the contrary, we worked night and day, laboring and toiling so that we would not be a burden to any of you. We did this, not because we do not have the right to such help, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you to imitate. For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
We hear that some among you are idle and disruptive. They are not busy; they are busybodies. Such people we command and urge in the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and earn the food they eat. And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.
Take special note of anyone who does not obey our instruction in this letter. Do not associate with them, in order that they may feel ashamed. Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.  2 Thessalonians 3:6-15
So, in a nutshell, these are directions given to the Thessalonian:
  • Do not be idle, earn the food you eat. “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”
  • Be busy, but don't be busybodies
  • Do not associate with anyone who doesn't obey these instructions
  • Don't regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.
These instructions still apply to us. Living in the world is hard. We are bombarded daily with truths of the secular world. TV, radio, print media all add to the saturation of ideas that the world claims are "okay." We must be constantly aware of these lies that delight Satan. Reading the Bible, praying and having Godly friends are daily necessities for us as we navigate through this troubling world. From the book of Ephesians we learn the marvelous hope that God gives us. He will triumph in the end, this life is temporary and don't worry about world leaders. He's got it covered, God has our back.
The part about not hanging around people who don't obey these instructions may be, at times, difficult, but for the most part, the people who are our friends, who we choose to socialize are believers who try to live in the Word. However, we do see others in the store, at work and elsewhere in our daily lives. That's a good thing because it gives us the opportunity to be one of Christ's shinning lights, to be an example.

Now the part about warning them has me wondering. That could be tricky to balance with the whole not judging others thing. Maybe it can be a subtle thing with those closest to us? The politically correct movement has definitely hampered discussions. It's something worth pondering. The path Christians are instructed to follow really is very straight and narrow isn't it?

Our dear Sister in Christ, Page shared this with us this week:
"We can't make people respond to the Gospel, 
but we can invite them to hear it, 
serve them so they can see it, 
and pray for them to receive it."
Taken from a NewSpring devotional titled: Dear God, Save People In This Place

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Humble and KInd

This is such a wonderful song, the melody is lovely, and the lyrics are awesome! This is a song that SHOULD get "stuck in our heads!"
Written by Lori Mckenna  Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

You know there's a lot that goes by the front door
Don't forget the keys under the mat
Childhood stars shine, always stay humble and kind
Go to church 'cause your momma says to
Visit grandpa every chance that you can
It won't be a waste of time
Always stay humble and kind
Hold the door say please say thank you
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When the dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind
Don't expect a free ride from no one
Don't hold a grudge or a chip and here's why
Bitterness keeps you from flying
Always stay humble and kind
Know the difference between sleeping with someone
And sleeping with someone you love
I love you ain't no pick up line so
Always stay humble and kind
Hold the door say please say thank you
Don't steal, don't cheat, and don't lie
I know you got moutains to climb but
Always stay humble and kind
When those dreams you're dreamin' come to you
When the work you put in is realized
Let yourself feel the pride but
Always stay humble and kind
When it's hot, eat a root beer, a popsickle
Shut off the AC and roll the windows down
Let that summer sun shine
Always stay humble and kind
Don't take for granted the love this life gives you
When you get where you're goin'
Don't forget turn back around
Help the next one in line
Always stay humble and kind.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Idols and Bad Habits

Do you have difficulty overcoming some idol that competes with the time you spend with God? Or perhaps you are struggling to overcome procrastination, irresponsibility, bitterness, worry, jealousy etc. Just this week I have seen this topic come up on a blog and in one of Charles Stanley's sermons. Both people had the same basic answer for dealing with sins in your life and it is astonishingly simple. Look for Scriptures dealing with the sin you are struggling with. One source suggested writing the Scriptures down on index cards and go over them 2-3 times a day. Rev. Stanley suggests praying with the scriptures you find.

Here are the scriptures that I'm going to use in my quest for eating healthy and losing weight. 

Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31

Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16

Everything you say or do should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Colossians 3:17

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

Don’t you know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28:7

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. Romans 8:5

It trains us to renounce ungodly living and worldly passions so that we might live sensible, honest, and godly lives in the present age. Titus 2:1

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. Galatians 5:16

Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice–alive, holy, and pleasing to God–which is your reasonable service. Romans 12:1

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having a promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come. 1 Timothy 4

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Taking a Stand, or Causing Division?

Have you had about enough of politics for quite a while? Me too. Even though the election is over,
repercussions from our voting reverberate throughout America. There are always people who are unhappy, no matter what choices voters make. Lately our society is so divsive, angry and just plain mean. So much of what I hear on the news reminds me of the playground antics of the elementary school children I taught. Apparently, many adults never learned the lessons of proper behavior when disagreements arise.

I just read the best article on Crosswalks.  In it Veronica Nef points out that “There’s a Difference Between Taking a Stand and ‘Causing Division’. She sure hit the nail on the head with that statement didn't she?

 I urge you to read this well written and thoughly thought provoking article: